How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player in 2024

Alex Jones

It would be wonderful to be able to play your favorite sport every day. Imagine receiving a daily salary for playing your favorite sport. It sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

Can you make a living playing pickleball professionally?

Yes, it is possible. A career in pickleball is becoming increasingly feasible as pickleball’s popularity reaches new heights.

How do you become a professional pickleball player, and how much do they make?

You’ll learn how to become a professional in this article, as well as tips on making money from your favorite sport.

In addition, we’ll tell you about some of today’s top professionals and their inspirational advice, and warn you of some of the challenges you’ll face along the way.

Here, let’s get started and we’ll have you playing pickleball like a pro in no time!

How to Become A Professional Pickleball Player

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

As a starting point, let’s discuss how you became a “pro pickleball player ”.

Keep track of your ratings

You can use your pickleball rating as a measure of your skill level. As long as you follow the USAPA guidelines and are honest with yourself, you can give yourself a rating.

To track your real pickleball rating, you can use two rating systems if you’re serious about going professional.

UTPR [USA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings]

A player’s rating is determined by their previous performances in official, USAPA-sanctioned tournaments. There is a range of 0.000 to 6.999. The rating of a pro will be at least 6.0.

DUPR [Dreamland Universal Pickleball Ratings]

An awesome pickleball-based entertainment center near Austin, Texas, Dreamland, is the owner of this modern system of pickleball player ratings.

As long as one other player verifies the result, any player can self-report his or her own wins and losses.

As a result, even if you don’t play an official tournament, every match counts towards your pickleball player rating. There is a range of 2.000 to 8.000 in your DUPR rating.

Taking part in coaching workshops and clinics

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

Photo by Stephen Rahn on Flickr marked as Public Domain (CC0 1.0)

You need to practice pickleball, but you also need to listen to the professionals if you want to improve your skill level.

There are small details in the game that can make the difference between a great player and a true pro. Coaching clinics can give players the opportunity to focus on these details.

Get a pickleball coach

If you aren’t focusing your practice on the areas that need it most, then there’s no point in spending endless hours on the courts.

Coaches can provide you with a personalized plan to improve your pickleball skills based on an assessment of all aspects of your game. With their expertise and insight, they can help you improve your performance where it counts the most.

Join a Pickleball Club

On the road to becoming a professional pickleball player, this is one of the most important pieces of advice you can receive.

From access to coaches and competitors to playing in tournaments, being a member of a club offers a whole host of benefits.

Your professional pickleball career can be boosted by the power of numbers.

Observe professional athletes

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

You can learn a great deal about how to achieve pro status by watching and studying professionals play.

By watching pros in action, you’ll also have a realistic idea of what it takes to reach their level of skill.

In the next section of this article, we will look at what the top ten professionals around the world have to say about turning pro.

Compete against better players

The best way to improve your game is to compete with stiff competition. If you’re always winning, you’re not pushing yourself or learning new things if you’re dominating your opponents every game.

It can also knock your confidence when you play against someone who is miles ahead of you. If you eventually beat these components, you’ll feel an unparalleled sense of achievement.

Participate in tournaments

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

It is through winning tournaments that professional pickleball players have made their way to the top. As you play more tournaments, you will gain more real-life experience, which will help you win more tournaments.

You will see tremendous improvements in your game if you participate in as many tournaments as you can. Now is the time to find a pickleball tournament near you by visiting

Practice, Practice, Practice

In his plain-speaking style, tennis star Andre Agassi said, “If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win.“. Getting out and playing pickleball is the first step toward improving your skills.

Spend as much time as you can work. When your competitors are taking a break, you can train using a pickleball machine or other home-training device.

Work on Your Weaknesses

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

Professional pickleball players aren’t just naturally gifted; they’ve worked hard to become that way.

Focusing on your game’s weaknesses is harder than relying on your strengths. It is important for you to face your fears head-on if you want to become a professional pickleball player.

You can learn how to overcome your weaknesses from a good coach. You can improve your game by filming yourself playing and rewatching the footage afterward.

Taking inspiration from professional players

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

You should ask the pros about how to become a professional pickleball player if you want to learn how to become one yourself?!

Professional pickleball players serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes looking to improve their skills and reach higher levels in the sport. By studying and emulating the techniques, strategies, and mindset of these professionals, you can enhance your own game and accelerate your progress. Here are some ways to take inspiration from professional pickleball players:

  • Observe and Analyze: Start by closely observing professional pickleball players in action. Watch their matches, both live and recorded, and pay attention to their movements, shot selections, and overall game strategies. Observe how they position themselves on the court, how they anticipate their opponent’s moves, and how they make split-second decisions during rallies. By studying the professionals, you can gain insights into the nuances of the game and learn valuable techniques that can be incorporated into your own playing style.
  • Study Training Routines: Research the training routines and practices of professional pickleball players. Understand how they structure their training sessions, what drills they focus on, and how they work on specific skills. This knowledge will give you a blueprint for organizing your own training regimen. Incorporate similar drills and exercises into your practice sessions to improve your shot accuracy, footwork, agility, and overall fitness. Professional players often emphasize disciplined and purposeful practice, so adopt a similar approach in your training.
  • Learn from Interviews and Biographies: Take advantage of the wealth of information available through interviews, biographies, and documentaries featuring professional pickleball players. These resources often provide valuable insights into their journey, mindset, and the challenges they faced. Pay attention to their stories of perseverance, determination, and overcoming obstacles. Understand the mental approach they take to the game, their strategies for handling pressure, and their methods for maintaining focus during matches. By immersing yourself in their experiences, you can gain inspiration and valuable lessons to apply to your own game.
  • Attend Clinics and Workshops: Professional pickleball players often conduct clinics and workshops to share their knowledge and expertise. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn directly from the pros. Participate in these sessions to receive personalized instruction, guidance, and feedback on your technique. Interacting with professional players will not only improve your skills but also motivate you to push your boundaries and aim for higher levels of achievement.
  • Seek Mentors and Coaches: If possible, seek mentorship or coaching from experienced pickleball players, including professionals. These mentors can provide guidance, support, and personalized training plans tailored to your specific goals. They can identify areas where you can improve and help you develop strategies to enhance your game. Their expertise and insights, gained from their own experiences or observations of professional players, can prove invaluable in your journey to becoming a better pickleball player.
  • Embrace a Growth Mindset: Professional pickleball players demonstrate a growth mindset, constantly seeking improvement and learning from their experiences. Emulate this mindset by being open to feedback, recognizing areas for development, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth. Maintain a positive attitude and resilience in the face of setbacks. Professional players often emphasize the importance of mental strength and a positive outlook, which can significantly impact your performance on and off the court.

Remember, while it’s important to take inspiration from professional pickleball players, it’s equally crucial to develop your own unique style and strengths. Adapt their techniques and strategies to suit your playing style and continually strive to evolve. With determination, perseverance, and a commitment to learning, you can make significant progress on your journey to becoming an accomplished pickleball player.

Pickleball Professional Challenges

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

You will have to go through a lengthy and complicated process in order to become a professional athlete. Although we don’t want to discourage you, we do want to make sure you’re realistic.

There are some financial factors to consider in addition to becoming good enough to reach the top rankings.

The first thing you need to do is hire a coach. To become a professional, you must follow this rule, as we explained above. It doesn’t need to be super-expensive to hire a coach, but it does cost money.

Furthermore, you have to consider the cost of entering tournaments, which varies between $50 and $100 per event. When you start winning, this investment will be well worth it once you start playing a few tournaments a month.

It’s up to you to get there once you’ve registered for the tournament. Don’t forget to factor in your travel costs as well. If you factor in hotel stays and transportation, the costs can quickly mount up.

What are the best pickleball tournaments to play in?

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

As we’ve already discussed, playing in tournaments can improve your skills and advance your pickleball career. What’s the best way to find pickleball tournaments?

All USAPA-approved tournaments across the country are listed in an awesome online resource. Follow the registration instructions on the website to sign up for these tournaments.

There are many pickleball tournaments going on around the country all year round on

Can You Make A Living Playing Pickleball Professionally?

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

Now that we’ve discussed how to become a pickleball professional, let’s discuss the money!

How much does a professional pickleball player actually make? The average income of a professional pickleball player ranges from $50,000 to $200,000.

Let’s take a closer look at that.

Sponsorship deals are a major source of income for pro pickleball players, with some earning up to $80,000 per year from just these deals. Players may also earn money by appearing in advertisements for brands as product endorsers.

The majority of a player’s earnings won’t come from winning tournaments, though they can be lucrative. Over the course of his five-year career, Ben Johns has earned about $150,000, or about $30,000 per year.

Professional pickleball players often earn a large part of their income from coaching, lessons, and clinics. Professional pickleball players spend a lot of time teaching others to play the game outside of tournaments, and they can earn a good living doing so.

Pickleball has yet to break into the mainstream in America, despite being the fastest-growing sport. There is no Olympic sport for pickleball, for example.

The article explores the possibility of pickleball being included in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028. As soon as pickleball is included in the Olympics, it will gain a whole new level of global recognition. A pro’s earnings should increase significantly when that happens.

What is the APP vs PPA?

How To Become A Professional Pickleball Player

First, let’s clarify one thing before we answer some frequently asked questions. PPA and APP are two acronyms commonly used in pickleball that sound very similar.

Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP).

Both tournaments were launched in 2020, and both include cash prize payouts. It is important to note, however, that the two differ in a few important ways.

The APP requires players to be members of the USAPA in order to compete. PPAs do not.

Cash prizes in the PPA range from $30,000 to $150,000, compared to the APP’s $25,000 to $75,000 cash prizes. TV and ESPN3 are also used by the PPA, while the PPA’s social media accounts are used to stream its events live.

The costs to play on each tour are similar, so choosing one really comes down to your personal preference. Both sides have tried to secure exclusive deals with the best players in recent years, so do your research before swearing your allegiance to either!


Is it hard to go pro in pickleball?

To put it simply, becoming a pickleball professional is not easy. It is definitely a goal that can be achieved.

How long does it take to become a pro pickleball player? 

The timeline varies depending on individual factors such as skill level, practice intensity, and natural talent. With consistent effort and focused practice, it is possible to make significant progress within a few years.

How old are professional pickleball players?

Despite being just 14, Anna Leigh Waters is the number 7 women’s doubles player in the world. In contrast, John Cincola, the number 7 men’s singles player, is 42.

How do I know If I qualify as a professional pickleball player?

The key to being a professional pickleball player is to be able to make a living from it.

Are there any age restrictions to becoming a pro pickleball player? 

No, pickleball welcomes players of all ages. There are different age categories in tournaments, allowing players to compete within their respective age groups.

Can I become a pro pickleball player if I started playing late in life? 

Absolutely! Pickleball offers opportunities for players of all ages and skill levels to excel. Starting late should not deter your aspirations to become a professional player.

How can I find pickleball tournaments near me?

You can find all USAPA tournaments on its event calendar, as well as on

What are some common mistakes to avoid when striving to become a pro pickleball player? 

Some common mistakes include neglecting proper technique, lacking consistency in practice, neglecting physical fitness, and not seeking guidance from experienced players or coaches. It’s essential to address these areas to maximize your potential.


We’ve covered how to become a professional pickleball player, step by step.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and we hope we’ve shed some light on the process and inspired you to achieve your dreams! Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning to play pickleball?

Additionally, you can learn more about How to Make a Pickleball Practice Wall to become a professional.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments in the box below. Meanwhile, get out there and practice on your local court!

Alex jones

about Alex jones

As a freelance writer, I primarily write articles for Pickleball Click. With over 17 years of experience in playing pickleball, I have developed a deep love for this exciting and fast-growing sport.

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